Right now, I’m lying on bed on what is my final day of vacation, and because the bed I’m in is elvish looking in nature, I was reminded of this scene in Lord of the Rings. Granted, I don’t have hobbits jumping dilly dally all over me, but I do have a pretty excited dog that comes in every once in a while to lick my face.
Anyways, this post isn’t really about that, but rather what I did last night. It was a “Live Event” called Beer Wars, which was a documentary film about the beer industry, ie. who are the goliaths and who are the Davids. The film was sandwiched inbetween two live satellite feeds, one introducing the film and one with a live panel of the beer brewers featured in the movie. Granted, it was a one-off event featured in 440 theaters, but I still think that $15 dollars was a bit too much. However, my love of homebrew (I’ve got 1 batch fermenting, 1 conditioning and 1 that is hell-bent on being made before I get back to NYC this weekend) was enough to bring me to the theater. I have to admit, it was a great movie and it brought me up to speed on the current situation with Microbrewers trying to compete in an supersaturated Coors-Miller-Busch Dominated kingdom. And boy do the big boys pull punches. They are absolutely ruthless in their domination. One example was them suing the charismatic head of Dogfishhead Ale for using the word “Chicory” in one beer and “Punkin” in another for being to “vague”. As Sam quips, “I guess ‘Natural Light’ didn’t get their attention for being as vague as Chicory”
Beer Wars story is fascinating and well-edited, grabbing laughs and moments of sadness as you follow the story of “Moonshot” the only Caffeine Beer and its creator Rhonda Kallman trying to bring it off the ground (No pun intended). Every brewer is unique, but the standout is definetly Sam Calagione, creator of Dogfish Head Ale. Think Keanu Reeves from Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure, with a wicked sense of humor and a killer business ethos–To actually have fun while doing what you love to do, and treating your employees like extended family.
The after show was equally entertaining, partly because it was live and also because they did a dirty trick in setting Rhonda Kallman next to the brew master of Sam Adams Brewery and played a video clip of him dissing her saying “Moonshot is like craft beer, if you subtract the FT off the end and replace them with P. It’s crap.”
Then they cut to Rhonda, who handled herself well in the face of a brew snob. “People like to party.” was her response. And I felt like drinking a Moonshot.
Truth be told, I’ve never had a Sam Adams that I was blown away by.
So while I wait for my batches to condition, this was a nice little vacation from reality and Beer Wars put a little hop in my step. Pun intended this time. I’ll link up the dvd when it comes out.
Have fun out there, kids.